In a recent press conference, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson lamented the fact that he couldn't get rookie infielder Steve Lombardozzi into the lineup as much as he'd like to with both Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa healthy and producing. "Lombo was basically a regular for 75% of the season," Johnson told reporters, "Now that everybody's doing the things that they're capable of doing, it's going to be harder for me to get him the at bats." He also noted that he essentially had to fight with either of his starting middle infielders to get them to agree to a day off. He must have convinced Ian Desmond to take a breather somehow, because the shortstop is sitting this afternoon in the series and season finale with the Miami Marlins with Espinosa shifting to short and Lombo playing second behind Edwin Jackson as E-Jax looks to become the 4th Nats' starter to reach double digits in wins:
#Nationals lineup vs. MIA - Lombardozzi 4, Harper 8, Werth 9, LaRoche 3, Morse 7, Tracy 5, Espinosa 6, Suzuki 2, Jackson 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) September 9, 2012
Through 17 games, the Nationals hold a 9-8 lead in the season series with their NL East rivals from Miami. A win today and they're above .500 against 3 of 4 NL East teams. The Nats are 5-7 against Philadelphia with six games left against the Phillies, 11-4 against New York and 10-5 against Atlanta with three more left with each of the two teams on the upcoming road trip. 1:35 pm EDT, E-Jax vs Ricky Nolasco in the nation's capital.